You who live in the northern tier of states should be on the alert: Congress is poised to allow the Department of Homeland Security to inflict upon you the grave problems they have already created here on the southern border.

From my porch, I can see the wall they’ve constructed along the Mexican border; it stops wildlife migration and water flow but not people.

Sometimes, it feels like a military state around here: Drones watch us all the time. We are forced to stop for inspection and questioning at roadway checkpoints. Helicopters buzz our house. We share lunch counter space with Border Patrol agents bristling with so much gear that they look like they’re just in from Afghanistan.

Legislation is pending in Washington to spend $10 billion of corporate welfare on even more ineffective walls, surveillance towers and sensors and new roads so Border Patrol vehicles can speed through national forests, wildlife refuges, parks, conservation areas and even wilderness. It’s called the Secure Our Borders First Act.

The worst part of the legislation is this: It would exempt Homeland Security from having to comply with 16 different laws on nearly all public lands within 100 miles of the southern border. We’re talking about the Wilderness Act, the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act and others.

You should worry. Tucked into this legislation is a mandate that Homeland Security must report on the need for these measures at the northern border as well.

And consider what a 100-mile border zone means. Think of jewels such as Acadia National Park, the White Mountains, the Boundary Waters, Glacier National Park and Olympic National Park.

We must stop the Secure Our Borders First Act.

Margaret Case

Palominas, Arizona